Category Archives: collage



growing and playing

burning curiosity

revealing secrets



One of the things I love doing most with my grandchildren is sowing seeds and sharing in their wonder as they see the seedlings appear. The top right picture is of some double sided sellotape laid on paper for sticking collage material on. Click any photo to see it larger.

Our Photo Challenge prompt this week = SEED

Cathy and I have put together a list for the year, you can see all the prompts here.

Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge prompts = SECRET and BURN.

Join us in the Photo Challenge and add a link in the comments below.

Happy Snapping!


Textile Wall Hanging


“Nothing Between Me and the Sea”

Just a few days into my stay in the treehouse, the old worn sofa was to be replaced.

The sofa had been draped in a throw to cover its age, so when the throw was removed I saw the fabric – Yikes! I could not let that wonderful vintage fabric be thrown in the skip! dsc_0234

I asked if I could have the fabric – and as an aside said – “but this sofa is so comfortable is it really going to be thrown away!”

A bit cheeky of me – sometimes the recycler/environmentalist/hoarder in me just will not be silenced!

Elizabeth said I could have the fabric and I was as happy as a pig in straw for the next few days, tearing, cutting, washing, drying and sorting the sofa cover.

The design was intriguing – a strange mix of sea and land flora and fauna: butterflies, birds, coral, shells and all sorts of strange plants. I started to play ….dsc_0049-1

….. making small fabric collages, stitching each piece on a background with a simple running stitch. At home I would have used my machine, but there was something very soothing about sitting curled up on the new sofa looking out at the sunrise or sunset and slowly stitching.

The weather was beautiful and most days were sunny.  I was often on the beaches between sunrise and sunset, collecting shells and beach cleaning. The photo below was taken on Christmas Day


After bracing walks on the beaches or coast paths, what better than to go back to the cosiness of the treehouse for some gentle stitching.

The idea of a wall hanging was simmering away and I wanted to incorporate one of my own quotes


“whatever the question, creativity is the answer”

After the sofa-moving, Elizabeth and I had a lovely chat and I heard the story of how she and her husband had found this place to live, over 25 years ago. The story had an air of magic about it.  It became clear to me that this hanging was for Elizabeth and needed to be finished for Christmas Day.

Some twigs cut from the ash tree were perfect to hang the piece from,


with tassels of torn strips of fabric and shells from the beach sewn to the bottom edge.


Whilst Elizabeth was looking for a house all those years ago, she had a dream about a house with nothing between her and the sea and ……… well the rest is her story to tell, but there is nothing but fields between the treehouse and the sea and the phrase stuck in my mind, and it needed to be on that hanging.


Rather than start a new hanging I covered my words with another piece of fabric, so that Elizabeth could have both


On Christmas Day circumstances conspired to mean that Elizabeth and I came together for a cuppa in front of her fire, I gave her the hanging, we had such a lovely long and gentle chat sharing life stories, and a friendship was born. The stay in the treehouse took on an even more rich and magical quality.

And hurray! my comment about the sofa meant that Elizabeth realised that all it needed was a new cover and that it really was comfortable – now it sits happily in her house for all to enjoy.




A textile birthday card


With a pocket where a piece of card can be inserted with a message written on it.

And another piece of decorated card behind it,  left blank so that this card can be re-useddsc_0112

Joining in with our Photo Challenge prompt of CARD

Please leave your links in the Comments.






Dare to be wild and

Dream up colourful designs

Create textile art


Our Photo Challenge: WILD

Ronovan’s : DREAM and DARE

Together they are the ‘Phaiku’ challenge. Go on have a go! Please leave a link in the comments if you do.

The weather has been WILD hereabouts and I did try to get a photo, but they just looked grey and dull……… as I was pondering what photo to use instead, I got up from where I was ‘working’ and looked back – and just like Tracy Emin’s Bed I realised I had created rather a wild mess in my frenzy of delight and inspiration after pouring over my Pinterest Embroidery page.

Can you believe that vast pile of colour produced these tiny little fabric embellishmentsdsc_0001-1

Here they are against a dark backgrounddsc_0001-1-1

They are destined to adorn the textile books I am making for my grandchildren


and maybe some tote bags … one day … when they finally get made .. ……

What is your WILD? Please leave a link in the comments and go over to Cathy k to see what she has come up with.

I do hope the weather takes heed of next week’s prompt: STILL

Magic, Serendipity and Remembrance


John Henry Absalom 1898 – 1916 was my Great Uncle who died in the battle for Mametz Wood in Northern France in July 1916.

He was the older brother of my maternal grandfather, who was 12 when John died. My Grandad, George Owen Absalom O.B.E., a teacher and Headmaster, often talked of John, and of the ridiculousness of War and the folly of Governments.

On 8th November my cousin, H, put a post on Facebook with the above poster. A school in Nailsea, Somerset had contacted her because the pupils were doing some research into fallen soldiers and had found the photo of John Absalom that  H had posted. They had chosen him to be one of the 32 soldiers they were honouring at their Remembrance Service on Friday, 11th November.

The posters made by pupils of Nailsea School:
dsc_0030 dsc_0033 dsc_0034 dsc_0035 dsc_0036 dsc_0037 dsc_0038 dsc_0039 dsc_0040 dsc_0041 dsc_0042 dsc_0043 dsc_0044 dsc_0045 dsc_0049 dsc_0050 dsc_0051 dsc_0052 dsc_0053 dsc_0054 dsc_0056 dsc_0059 dsc_0060 dsc_0061 dsc_0062 dsc_0063 dsc_0064 dsc_0065 dsc_0066 dsc_0068 dsc_0070

Given that over 700,000 British soldiers died in the First World War, it is remarkable that Great Uncle john was one of those chosen by Nailsea. I contacted the school to ask if I could attend their Service. I received a very warm invitation to do so and an equally warm welcome when I arrived.

I was met by teacher Jeff and introduced to two pupils who proudly showed me round their really rather beautiful school. I then met with the tutor group who had created the poster for my Great Uncle John. I had taken with me a print out of a letter John had written to his mother


France, 13th 1916


Dear Mother and All,

Received your most welcomed parcel safely everything was allright packed a treat.

You can imagine how glad I was to receive it, quite a change from our Army diet, hoping you will continue sending them the same, the battery fitted my flash lamp a treat. Received John Bull and Reynolds a few days ago. We have had glorious weather up to date with the exception of a few showers just what you can expect this month.

Our furlow have been cancelled for the time being, but I think we will get it shortly again as they tell me that they often cancel it out here and in a few weeks it starts again.

We are going back to the line again tonight but it is a very quiet place.

Now that the weather is coming we are much more comfortable wile in the trenches.

According to the papers the allies intending to advance all along the line. The sooner it comes the better. Well as we are barred from saying to much about our doings out here I will conclude hoping to find you all as it leaves me in the best of health.

Yours etc John

mind write by return JHA

The Headmistress, Dee, read it out to us and it brought a tear to her eye. We chatted with the pupils and they asked a few questions. I showed them some photos of John’s family.

I asked what would happen to the poster after the ceremony and was told that they were going to present it to me – that brought a tear to my eye!

I gave Dee my desktop Peace Pole and I was given flowers, chocolates and a birthday card!dsc_0022-1

All very emotional!dsc_0023-1

I was so pleased I had thought of giving the Pole to the school. The thought had occurred to me after reading Cathy’s post about making her own Peace Pole – ‘ripples in the pond’, thank you Cathy.

If you would like to find out more about Peace Poles, click on this link.

We went outside for the Remembrance Service on this crisp sunny November Day.dsc_0026

I stood with the staff and around 900 pupils for a moving speech by the Head, and to hear the 32 names read out, the posters held proudly on display and the Last Post played beautifully by one of the pupils. It always gives me goose-bumps.

Back inside I was so glad to meet with Laura, the teacher who had instigated the projectdsc_0029then I went to see the posters being put up in a display in the school’s magnificent atrium dsc_0072 dsc_0073 dsc_0075

Jeff showed me a cross which had been made by the pupilsdsc_0058I put John’s poster with the others, so that he could take his place with his comrades of the daydsc_0031and had a farewell photo with Jeffdsc_0046

I handed in my visitors badge which just happened to be number 11 – adding to the feeling of magic and serendipity!dsc_0028

before saying goodbye.

What a birthday! What a wonderfully warm, heartfelt and meaningful time!

In my heart I took all my Welsh cousins with me and relatives past and present. My Great-Grandparents had no body to bury. I don’t know how they commemorated their lost son, I know his death affected the whole family very deeply and has helped to instil in me the importance of family connections and support.

John’s name is on the Thiepval Memorial along with 72,245 other soldiers missing in action. My sister Sue went there with a group in 2014 and read his letter out. I don’t think I could go there.

I am grateful to H for researching family history and posting information and photographs. I am grateful to Laura, Dee and Jeff, the pupils I met and the whole of Nailsea School for such a warm welcome and beautiful way of making this year’s Remembrance Day so very meaningful to so many people. It feels important, I can’t find the words to express that as well as I would like to, but my hope is that in remembering, we go forward and each one of us, in our way, work towards PEACE, in our heart, in our home, in our community, our country and our world.


With love ❤

16 for 2016: October

Here are the targets I set myself for 2016, inspired by Cathy at Nanacathy

16 WALKS (of more than an hour)

13 done, 3 to go.

Walk 11. Glorious October afternoon walk with my walking buddy, on Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hill fort just a few miles from me.

Walk 12. 2 hour Beach clean walk on Ringstead Beach with Master R in his beloved Woodland Hoodie .


Walk 13. All day on Brownsea Island, walking, wonderful day with my daughter and her 3 kiddlies, dscf0063we even saw a few red squirrels and some goooorrrrrrrgeous trees. dscf0119

This oak got first prize as far as I’m concerned

dscf0121I only had my little pocket camera, so the pictures don’t really do them justice

and the sweet chestnuts – wow


a feast for the squirrels.


12 done, 3 to go

A card made out of two collaged postcards taped together with a duck tape hinge.


8 done, 6 to go

I added this wig



11 done, 2 to go.


6 done, 6 to go.

The least said about this the better!





This one was made by simply sewing two crochet circles together an stuffing with yarn offcuts – simple!

7 done, 3 to go


3 started, 6 to go

None this month. This feels more like a wet weather project and the weather has been glorious! I was gardening in T-shirt and shorts today – bliss.


5 done, 3 to go.

Two more done this month: a weekend spent sorting out my workroom. I am trying to get some order in there. Trying, but not succeeding – I need someone organised to come in a set up a storage system – it is plainly not one of my skills.

7 PAINTINGS (or other pieces of art)


4 done, 3 to go

You can see them here.

6 BUS RIDES using my Bus Pass

2 done, 4 to go

None this month


4 done, 1 to go

No new ones this month. So far I have tried Pilates, Belly Dancing, a Dance Class, a Zumba-like class.

I think this target will probably stay at 4!


1 done 3 to go

At last! I have put a pattern on Etsy (and Ravelry and Craftsy)

No prizes for guessing which one …..img_1553

A couple of seahorses made for my sister to hang on the cute little tree in her kitchen. The house is a sewing box and the cupcakes are pincushions.


1 done, 2 to go


The plight of so many people fleeing for their lives hurts my heart. The way our government behaves towards the refugees in Calais, especially unaccompanied children, hurts my heart. That I can do so very little hurts too.

Energetically I feel I am still recovering from a month spent by my mother’s bedside, in and out of hospital. I now know that I will not be going to Calais or Greece to volunteer as I had thought I would back in January when I made this list. The situation has not gone away, nor will it for many years, so there will be other opportunities in the future.

I will continue to crochet blankets and collect clothes to send and wait to hear what Liz Clegg does next, now that her Children’s Centre in Calais has been closed.  I am sure she will pop up again somewhere and when she does I will make another donation.

This article in the Guardian tells of her work.

Money is a form of energy, so although, I have not done what I set out to do, I will say that for the purposes of this challenge, donating money to Liz’s work, and to Calais Kitchens and sending blankets, squares for blankets and warm clothes are ways I have helped – even though it feels so sadly lacking.



Hurray! ‘Enchanted August’ by Brenda Bowen got me there.



Thank you Cathy for this idea, it is good to look over the things that have been achieved and review what hasn’t. I’m already compiling 17 for 2017.

Our painting!


I have entered our painting in a ‘Any Media’ painting class in our local County Show. Thank you so much to all of you who helped me get to the final design.

Judging happens tomorrow morning at 8am – exciting – I’ll let you know how we did!

Joining in with Paint Party Friday.