Sunday, 31 July 2011

Time Shifts

I began writing this blog as a way to express myself creatively. I love using colours, photographs both of my work and of my inspirations to describe my professional world to anyone who happens to take a look.

What I do not want to do is use this blog to chronicle my personal life. I don't have a problem with those who do choose to do this, and I follow several wonderful blogs where this is achieved with absolute perfection. It just isn't me.
Recently, I have given over a larger part of my creative self to other endeavours which have not made it onto Felt is a Four Letter Word for that very reason: they are personal changes for me, but they have no space here. I am not going to stop writing on here, but I can see that my recent posts have been humdrum and haphazard, so this is more a note to explain to anyone who follows me: I'm still here, but for a while things are going to be slow.

Soon I am sure that I will pick up where I left off, carry on with fashioning my world around me and showcasing it here, but for now I can't make that commitment.
Watch this space.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

Spring in the air means this lovely view above me as I walked along the riverbanks to university on Thursday. The more I look at horse chestnut leaves, the more I see wonderful shapes emerging - stars, flowers, geometrical perfection in nature.

Another reason to smile: this photo on the front page of my Saturday Guardian this morning. I can't claim to have been avidly transfixed by the television yesterday - I tend to ignore the weddings of total strangers - but this photo I think is rather lovely. It reminds me of Raphael's cupids.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Thank You

Thanks to all 10 lovely ladies who came to my nuno felting class yesterday! I had a great time and I hope you all did too.

You all made some fantastic felt - and impressive progress - and you helped me to feel more inspired after working with you.

(I am sorry for the lack of pictures on this post; my camera decided yesterday morning to go on the blink, and needs to go away for repairs.)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Giveaway for World Book Night 2011

This is the first giveaway on my blog. I am not giving away something of my own, but 48 copies of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights as part of World Book Night 2011.

Interested? I will be walking along Hadrian's Wall, beginning at 2pm on Saturday 5th March 2011. I am going to start at Housesteads car park and walk along the Wall towards Steel Rigg. If you would like a free copy of this award winning, awe inspiring, best selling book, all you have to do is be there (and look out for the woman in the pink coat staggering along under the weight of 48 books in a hiking rucksack) to claim one.

I'd love to see as many of you as possible!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Spring is Sprung!

 I saw some fresh snowdrops on my way up to the cathedral in Durham the other week; spring is on its way now and there's no doubt about it. At last. It feels like it has been such a long winter and I'm ready for a change.
 When I got to the cathedral, I found this rather fascinating piece of glazing. Most of the Galilee Chapel (at the west end of the building) is glazed from pieces which have been reused from earlier medieval glass. The story goes that they came from windows in the Chapel of Nine Altars (at the east end of the building), but were blown out in a storm, swept into baskets for a couple of centuries before being releaded to reglaze the Galilee Chapel amongst other places. So this complete mish-mash of coloured designs is entirely fortuitous and wonderfully random. Can anyone else see the rabbit?
 As the long evenings remain fixed in place for some time yet to come, February for me is made more bearable by judicious use of lights. This rather blurry shot was taken through the lense of a pair of valentine's day novelty glasses which make all spots of light appear heart shaped. The heart in this image is in fact Chris' wedding ring.
 Never one to be outshone, my dad on his birthday. The massive quantity of tealights around the tray? He still insists on having a candle for every year. And a good thing too!
Finally, in this most assorted of musings, these clouds formed as the sun was going down this evening, and I think they look amazing. I love images of moody skies, they are so inspiring.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Coming up for Air

It has been a long winter, and I have neglected many things in my hibernation state, including this blog. But now it feels like spring may just be in the air, if quietly, and things (including me) are coming slowly back to life.

Early December saw us installing this beauty, which swiftly became Meg's best friend.

Whilst the weather outside continued dark and snowy, the birds flocked to the new feeders we hung on the washing line. This is the first time we'd had a goldfinch in the garden.

 And for the first time in almost 20 years (I think), the Tyne froze over.

We passed the winter solstice, Christmas came and went, and the days, though short, were at least bright. Frosty light transmits so clearly, and when I got outside it always felt worth it.

There were even occasional patches of colour in the smudged charcoal palette of late December.

Mostly though, we all stayed indoors.

Then New Year passed over. I made some rather grand resolutions, sang Auld Lang Syne and promised myself 2011 would be a momentous year.

January whizzed past in a flash, but not without my walk with Dad; this time we went over to Alston, and marvelled at the spectacular light washing over still snow covered Pennine hilltops (for those of you unfamiliar with the area, Alston is the highest market town in England I believe). Click on the photos below to see them properly!

It was a bitterly cold day, with signs of winter still departing everywhere around us, but after so long inside four walls it just felt good to be out again.

This amazing moss was growing outside Alston cemetery; a brilliant glimmer of acid green in the grey and blue day.

But that's not all I have been up to since last I posted. For a few weeks now, I have been planning my teaching schedule for next year, and I am very excited to announce that I will be teaching Nuno felting at The Garden Station on 9th April! It's going to be a lovely course, in a really beautiful location, and I am looking forward to being able to pass on this most versatile feltmaking technique.

Click here for more details. I can't wait.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Another Snowy Day

Having learned how to create simple lino and wood cuts with Jo Westgate a couple of months ago, and being still a wee tiny bit not keen on going out into the snowy abyss that is the village, today I set about trying out a new skill Jo told us about on that (warmer) September day. I don't know if it has a technical name, but basically I sought my inspiration...

(It looks better in the flesh, promise), I drew my design onto the lino...
...and began to cut out different bits, printing over each layer with a different colour as I went.

Of the seven prints I have made, this one is my favourite (click to see larger image as usual):
Hooray for new tricks!