Silent Sunday at West Dean

Silly Saturday Shadows

I had such a wonderful week at West Dean and will share more of the process with the bench in another post, but today is Saturday and time for a bit of silliness!

Does my bum look big in this?

I had fun on the last morning (yesterday) walking around the grounds of West Dean College playing with the shadows in the early morning sun.

If you would like to see more of what I got up to you can visit my @rustnfound Instagram page.

Have you had an opportunity to be silly this week?

Choosing a place to Create

Land Art Course with Dan Lobb at West Dean.

As I was thinking about coming on the course I decided that my word for the week would be GRATITUDE. In the past, my life having its turbulent phases, when making and spiral, labyrinth or other ephemeral art in nature, I have often used it as a way of focussing the mind on a question, wish or invocation. Now as  I am in a calm and more peaceful time, it is time to acknowledge that and feel truly grateful.

On the first night here at West Dean, I was walking back to my car and was drawn to this bench. I tried to argue against using this as my focus as I had imagined working out in the gardens or woods in a much more aesthetically pleasing spot.

So I wandered around to find other places. Perhaps the dry stream bed in the ornametal  garden?

I could imagine filling the mud cracks with bright yellow leaves to look like gold in kintsugi art

Or could I be inspired by this fence, which had been altered by a fallen tree. Surely those roots would offer a suitable resting place for some ephemeral art.

(Edit: this is the tree that features in my next Post. the photos were taken on the very last morning, just before I drove home)

Or perhaps I could work in this area where there is a recently planted Tulip Tree

But the bench would not let me go. I realised my head was getting in the way of my intuition – so back to the bench …….

It has a memorial plaque to Jill Causer 1948 –  2017 and Joanna Elizabeth Causer 1980 – 2007. I asked at the college if they had any records Jill Causer but they didn’t. I realised she was 69 when she died – I am 69 and if I make it to November, I will not die aged 69 – something to be grateful for.

Joanna could have been Jill’s daughter, dying at the age of 27. I have not lost a child – another traumatic life experience I have been spared. It was becoming clear to me why this bench had called to me to celebrate Gratitude.

The grasses surrounding the tulip tree were also calling to me so I picked a bunch and took them back to the bench. Finding some feathers on the ground as I went.

As I was cutting the grass, it reminded me of my farming ancestors, making hay or harvesting the corn. I thought too of my Great Great Grandmother, Caroline Canterbury, who was a sailcloth weaver in Dorset in the mid 1800s.

So when I got to the bench, I wove the grasses through the back struts

The process had begun…..

 

 

 

 

Land Art at West Dean College

I am at West Dean College this week doing a Land Art course with Dan Lobb

There are four students including me

Top left is Dan, then C who has been to West Dean many times, bottom right is T an Architect from the US. He has flown over especially for this course and bottom left A, an installation artist.

On Friday evening we gathered for a presentation by Dan, of his work and examples from other ephemeral artists working with natural elememts, like Andy Goldsworthy and Chris Drury.

This is the view from the window where the group meets

As you can see, we are currently experiencing a drought in the UK

West Dean was established by Edward James, a friend of Salvador Dali, and is a fascinating, enriching place to be.

Note the carpet: Edward James’s wife was a ballet dancer and as she ran from the bathroom with wet feet, Edward noticed her footprints and wanted them immortalised in carpet design

The gardens are glorious

and there are so many fascinating details to notice

It promises to be a spectacularly creative week on so many levels – I am in heaven!

Mandalas on Display

One of my daughter’s friends creates the window displays for this local Optician and I offered her my mandalas. She has created a wonderful display, don’t you think? She has given me permission to use her photo at the top of this post. The rest of the photos are mine.


A few little spiders have been added as if they have been working away at their intricate webs.

The window looks especially lovely lit up at night, although I haven’t managed to get a photo.

It is a thrill to see them so beautifully displayed.

The mission to create 50 white mandalas continues; 32 are finished and 7 more await the final touches.  The three below are all in Rico Essentials cotton thread, my favourite so far.

I am making Zoya Matyushenko’s Agnes in three different sizes by varying the hook size. They then need to be washed and attached to hoops.

The most common question I am asked, is “how long do they take?”

I really find this difficult to answer as time taken is the least important aspect to me. I did try to time myself but there are so many interruptions to the process, it was impossible. I make mandalas because I enjoy making mandalas. Crochet relaxes me and resettles my mind. I do it whilst doing other things, it fills pockets of time. It is part of maintaining my sense of ok-ness or well-being, it gets me through stressful times.

So I want to say – they don’t take time, they take attention, concentration, love and joy. They are a connection with my Mum and my Grandmother who taught me and all other crafting women now and through the ages.

But that answer would most likely be more than the person bargained for!

So my answer usually is:

Some take a couple of days, some take a week, depending on the thickness of the thread and the complexity of the pattern. Some sit waiting to be finished for months.

But that doesn’t tell you how many actual hours are spent making stitches. I often feel neither the questioner or I feel satisfied with the answer.

Any ideas?

If anyone in the UK would like to borrow the mandalas for an event, let’s have a chat. I would love to see them displayed in other settings.

Blooming bollard

Look!!! Such a splendid use for some of my abandoned floral experiments!

The Snail of Happiness

My Welsh dragon crochet is proving very popular, so I wanted to quickly produce a cover for the second bollard outside the shop. The “sock” is pretty straightforward now I have created a pattern and I managed to find some suitable leftover yarn in fairly neutral colours. However, embellishments take much longer. Fortunately, my appeal a few months ago for items with which to decorate the shop meant that I had a bag of crochet flowers from Sandra (Wild Daffodil) just waiting to be used. Small amounts of scrap green yarn were all I needed for the chain stitch stems and here it is:

I will probably make a snail to go on top of it eventually, but I’m pretty happy with it for now. So, big thanks to Sandra, without whom I would still be crocheting flowers.

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Scrap Happy Wild Wool

I spent a few days in Seaton, Devon, near the wetlands, last month.

There are some beautiful walks and tranquil places to sit and ponder

When I saw all that wool on the fence, I just had to gather some

I washed it and then decided to felt some

by making layers of vertical and horizontal strands – about 7 layers

Then adding soapy water, I put the layers between bubble wrap and rolled it this way and that with a rolling pin.

Now to add some rusty bits

using some rust dyed thread

and framing the result in a acrylic box frame

And another one with old rusty sheep wire

I rubbed acrylic wax into the rusty wire to halt the rusting process, but have left these nails to continue to rust into the wool

Felting takes ages and is physical work so I started just to make soft little balls, just rolling them lightly in my hands – this is a work in progresson some corrugated iron. Not sure where it is going yet.

Joining Kate for Scrap Happy July

Scrap Happy Wrapping

The blanket I gave to my neice as a wedding present needed a large cardboard box for wrapping.

I did not want to buy masses of wrapping paper, especially when I have a massive stash of fabric. I have an old dress of my Mum’s, (my niece’s Granny) so I cut off the skirt and wrapped the box in that.

Furoshiki style.

TheYou Tube clip below shows two pieces of fabric sewn together – I didn’t do that, I just used the one piece – the whole of the skirt. As it was see-through material there was not an obvious right and wrong side.

I then tucked in some fabric flowers that I had left over from making my Frida Kahlo headband

I loved the way it turned out.

Scrap Happy Bookcover

Some progress has been made on the book cover started last month.

It has fabric from old clothes and curtains, some from the 1970s.

The white lacy daisy is from a dress I had when I was 17, the stars are from holey old jeans that Miss E (14) has grown out of. I love them sitting close to each other in this piece.

This project is a lot of fun.

The inspiration comes from “The Magpie’s Nest”

a course by Aimee Irel Bishop

I have started another, which I have made in a different way.

This time, instead of cutting slits in the base fabric, I have laid strips on top of a piece of fabric to act as the ‘warp’. I tacked then down along the top edge and started weaving.

There is more to do.

Joining Kate and her happy band of Scrap Happy contributors.

Sacred Space for a Wedding Present

At last I can post photos of Sacred Space – a free pattern by Helen Shrimpton, which comes with a video tutorial.

I made it as a Wedding Present for my niece.

In 2017 I made Lucy’s Moorland Blanket for her.

Sacred Space is made with a 4.5mm hook in Stylecraft Special DK in Sage, Storm, Duck Egg, Cream, Petrol

Part One

Round 1,2: Sage

3, 4. Storm.        5,6, 7. Sage

8, 9, 10, 11 Duck Egg

12, 13 Cream

14, 15, 16 Sage

17, Storm

18 Sage ; 19 Storm ; 20 Sage ; 21 Storm

22 Sage ; 23 Storm ; 24 Sage ; 25 Storm

26 Sage

27, 28, 29, 30, Storm

Part Two

31, 32 Sage.           33, 34 Storm

35 Duck Egg.       36, 37, 38 Cream

39, 40, 41 Sage

42, 43, 44 Storm

45 Sage

Part 3

46, 47, 48 Petrol       49, 50 Sage

51 Duck Egg.            52, 53 Storm

54, 55 Sage

Part 4

56 – 63 Petrol

64 Storm ; 65 Sage ; 66 Storm

Part 5

67 Sage        68, 69 Storm

70 Duck Egg

71, 72, 73 Storm

74 Petrol

75, 76, 77 Cream

Part 6

78 – 82 Storm

83 Sage ; 84 Storm ; 85 Sage ; 86 Storm ; 87 Sage ; 88 Storm

89, 90 Duck Egg

Part 7

91, 92, 93 Sage

94, 95 Duck Egg

96 Sage        97, 98, 99 Storm

100 Sage

Part 8

101, 102 Storm

103, 104 Petrol

105 Duck Egg

106, 107 Storm

108 Sage

Part 9

109 Cream

110, 111, Sage

112 Petrol

113 Storm

114 Sage

It certainly was a joy to make.

You can rely on Helen Shrimpton’s patterns to work out well.

Get Well Soon Card

Look what arrived in the post yesterday!

A lovely homemade, get-well-soon card from Cathy. I absolutely love anything handmade and this really cheered me up. Do you think she knows how much I love pink!

I have Covid, Cathy has had Covid so it has been lovely to have someone of my vintage to compare notes with.

I have not been too bad, mainly lacking in energy. I am pretty sure I caught the virus at a family wedding, as my son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and several other guests all got it at the same time. And it was SUCH a magical day!

Little Miss M was a bridemaid and here we are comparing headdresses

and footwear

She had smarter shoes for the formal bit.

My daughter also loves pink!

I was so pleased to be able to wear the same jacket, skirt and fascinator that I wore to her wedding 16 years ago.

The decorations in the marquee were spectacular

so was the cake

Which I was glad to be able to taste at the time.

With Covid, I briefly lost my sense of taste, which was very strange.

I could taste salt, sweetness, bitterness and spicyness in curry and mustard, but all with no flavour. The colours, texture, and temperature became very noticeable.

Milky is silky. Bananas were the weirdest, crisps were luxury!

My taste is gradually returning but I still can’t smell anything (especially not something burning!).

How are you all?

Take care.

 

Scrap Happy: Textile Book Cover

Joining Kate and her band of Happy Scrappers

This is going to be a bookcover.

The black and white ticking is from some old kitchen curtains circa 1989.

I am using some bits of rust dyed fabric that weren’t beautifully rust-marked, and other bits and pieces. I have yet to weave in a lot more scrappiness.

The book cover method is one being taught in a online course I am following called ‘The Magpie’s Nest’, on Jean Oliver’s ‘Creativity is Calling’ website.

I discovered this site via Instagram, during lockdown, and have followed a couple of courses. Every so often there are special offers and that is how I came to sign up for The Magpies Nest, which is my favourite so far.

You can see lots of examples from this course on Instagram #themagpiesnestworkshop

Attic24: Harbour Blanket

Each year in January, Lucy of Attic24, has a Crochet Along and I love to join in.

This year Lucy took the colours of a harbour as her inspiration. Although I liked Lucy’s colour choices, I was making this for Miss P, who absolutely LOVES bright colours, so I had to go BRIGHT.

Kingston Lacy Christmas lights

Well – maybe not quite that bright.

Starting row of Chain 150, I have made a Lap Blanket

In Stylecraft Special Double Knit (SSDK) and a 4.5mm hook

In Lucy’s Easy Eyelet Ripple

My colour order is:

Lapis, Bright Pink, Clementine, Empire, Fondant, Sunshine, Cornish Blue,

Spice, Turquoise, Matador, Bright Pink, Aqua, Lapis, Clementine,

Sunshine, Aster, Fondant, Spice, Empire, Matador, Aqua,

Turquoise, Lapis, Fondant, Aster, Bright Pink, Sunshine, Aqua,

Clementine, Empire, (a random blue yarn from my stash, but this could be Cornish Blue is sticking to SSDK), Spice, Matador, Fondant, Lapis,

Bright Pink, Turquoise, Clementine, Aqua, Empire, Matador, Fondant,

Aqua, Sunshine, Aster, Spice, Bright Pink, Turquoise, Lapis

49 colour stripes, each of two rows.

Border:

First row to fill in the ripples – Cornish Blue.

1 row of double crochet (US) – Empire – I love that colour!

One row of Single Crochet (US) – Bright Pink

Final row of Half-double crochet – Turquoise

The final measurements are 50″ x 40″ or 127cm x 103cm

In March I spent a glorious day with friends at Sculpture by the Lakes, we hired a private space there, The Pavilion, it was glorious.

and I took the blanket out and about for its own little photo shoot

I hope Miss P will like the blanket. I think her sister might want one as well, I wonder what colours she will choose.

Mothers Day Exhibition

It is Mothers Day here in the UK.

Helen Birmingham of Untangled Threads is having an online Mothers Day exhibition.

There are some very moving pieces in the exhibition and well worth a look.

These are the two pieces of work I entered

‘Why Cross?’

I had a difficult relationship with my Mother, which improved when I had children. She was a lovely Granny (Mamgu) to them.

My second piece:

‘Secrets and Lies’

If you would like to read the story behind the pieces, please go to the online exhibition:

MOTHERING SUNDAY ONLINE EXHIBITION

 

❤ May your day be happy 

Silly Saturday: Viva La Frida

Shoes from Irregular Choice.

Actually it was Fantastically Fun Frida Friday yesterday.

My lovely daughter took me to a Frida Kahlo inspired High Tea and Store6 in Dorchester, Dorset.

It was an early Mother’s Day present.

Floral headbands made by me with artificial flowers from Hobbycraft.

Photo tutorial to follow. I have put a quick tutorial on my Instagram page.

I even went for the Monobrow this time

We were very silly and had the best fun

Our last Frida inpsired outing was 5 years ago for my 65th birthday.

Have you been silly this week?

Silent Sunday at Sculpture by the Lakes

Sculpture by the Lakes

All Shall Be Well


Yesterday I went to watch Little Miss M (9) run in a Cross Country event.

Whilst waiting for the Prizegiving I found this beautifully positioned bench to perch on.

The engraving on it says

“All shall be well and all shall be well and

all manner of things shall be well”

In A Vase on Monday: Rust, Moss and Hellebores

Yes – still obsessed with the possibilities of ‘Moss on a Plate’. 🙂

With hellebores, rust and muscari.

Joining Cathy for ‘in a Vase on Monday’.

Silent Sunday at Minterne Gardens

Minterne House Gardens

Random Sunday Silliness

Seen in a children’s picture book in Egypt. (2019)