Border four

•May 30, 2015 • 4 Comments


Geometric makes a change. I really like the couched dark blue silk, I’m glad I went with that instead of all gold, I quite fancy using it somehow in future.

Day out and a new plan

•May 29, 2015 • 8 Comments

A couple of years ago Gareth and I were stuck on a broken down train for most of a day. They were meant to refund the tickets and didn’t, so Gareth hectored them for year, the result of which was two first class tickets to anywhere on the network. We completely failed to take a weekend away together, so decided we’d use the tickets separately.

Obviously I had a day out in London doing culture. Gareth is heading to Edinburgh botanic garden next week.

the surprise of my visit was the Australian art exhibit at the BM. It’s one of those I wouldn’t pay for normally, but I went because members get in free. I loved it. I went back several times to look at one particular painting, which I could happily have lived with on my wall.

Some of the textiles were fascinating, particularly the string skirts which reminded me of the one worn by the etgved girl. Aboriginal Australia was essentially a Stone Age culture until Cook arrived, and my personal feeling has always been that anthropology should be an important aspect of the study of prehistoric( and indeed some historic, one need only look at the work done in the early c20th interpreting dark age Athenian culture in the light of the culture of early c20th mani) cultures. I’ve always felt that there’s too strict a tendency for many reenactors to look only at found evidence rather than comparative anthropology, which can fill in pesky gaps with common sense.

oh, and the rack of aboriginal stone spearheads that included the later ones made from European bottle glass was wonderful.

I had a nice lunch with a friend, who was cunningly disguised as a responsible professional. Said friend explained to me, yet again, that I will never be mistaken for a grown up wearing a purple hat. She reckons the hat is a clear sign I’m well dodgy.

unfortunately I accidentally ate two mouthfuls of wheat at lunch, so I’m paying for that today.

Once I’d worn my feet out by trotting round to fortnums to buy tea for Gareth, and liberty to…well, just to drool a bit, really, I had a nice restat my private London club the British museum members room, where I spent quality time with my favourite book that I can’t afford, the Lutrell psalter facsimile.

(seriously, if anyone reading this wants to buy me presie and happens to be wealthy and in the mood to further my artistic endeavours, feel free to buy me this book, and a herd of goats…I’m sure goats would help my work, somehow)

the Lutrell psalter is going to keep me fascinated for at least another decade. This time I seemed to focus more on the interesting border patternS and tiny things


I didn’t want to get a rush hour train, so I walked to the British library for a poke about. I’ve discovered the next handbag project, the one I’m going to do once I’ve done the zodiac and female labours- in about six or seven years from now.

i want to embroider the guthlac roll.



The line drawings are just yummy, and since the theory is that it was a preparatory sketch for a larger artwork I feel that I would merely be helping it to fulfill it’s destiny. And I’ve already decided I’ll run that green through the whole thing, just as I’ve been running the red right through the zodiac.

today though, thanks to accidental wheat, I’m mostly burping farting and swearing softly about stomach cramps…


•May 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Just a reminder that there are spaces on two workshops at the ashmolean the weekend after next. Freehand Elizabethan blackwork, and medieval trees. Book via the oxford playhouse at the current courses link if you want to come.

I’m offline tomorrow, I have a free first class return ticket to London to use up before it goes out of date, so I’m going to look at nekkid Greeks.

border three

•May 26, 2015 • 6 Comments


Part of me desperately wants to finish these borders, I mean properly finish them rather than leave them deliberately deconstructed. They’re so close to done, and I hate leaving stuff unfinished, and they’d look so pretty finished, and arrrrrgh!

But I’m going to be good and leave them deconstructed, mount them on a board and use them as a teacing tool.

Even though they will drive me nuts every time I look at them.

I was storytelling at the Captain Cook Museum today (Under the Sea, mermaids and maori shark tales) and between performances I pottered away on the winter figure for the zodiac corners. He doesn’t look very impressed with my attept to give him a tribal face piecing though…



•May 25, 2015 • 7 Comments


Sunday morning I got into the ashmolean early, so I laced up a pile of frames.

It occurred to me that if I was a modern artist I would now write some waffle artspeak about the tension between the canvas and the frame as a metaphor for unexplored creative potential, call it an installation, and leave it at that.

It also occurred to me that if I did that, I would be making considerably more money.

Lovers and zodiac

•May 22, 2015 • 11 Comments



New cards just arrived. I really like the little close up images on the back – Hobbes for day, branston for night, and cancer the nit on the zodiac. ( Gareth still wants to do a set of twelve for the individual zodiac signs, but I think we need to break even on these first)

If anyone would like any let me know and I’ll send out paypal invoices as it’s unlikely I’m going to have time to update the shop anytime soon.

Three for five quid, seven for ten, plus 50p postage uk, a pound elsewhere.

blank inside

The old cards a are also still available for the same price – antependium, Noah’s ark, pony purse, politician beast, cows arse bishop, baby dragon and griffin



Border two

•May 20, 2015 • 8 Comments



This is one so from the Winchester psalter, c12th. Lot less gold on this one, and to be honest I’m not quite sure about the pearl, which is in the place of a little fleur in the original.

that pale blue is a right wierd colour. It looks sky blue on the roll, but is more of a steel colour sewn. I haven’t said anything about it to Gareth because I got a long lecture on chromatography the other day when I mentioned colour, and I don’t want to provoke him again.


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