Saturday, 28 June 2014

blues, riverside

i left Portugal behind [with some reluctance but also with plans to return]
headed for another good place
back to the beautiful Tay River at Newburgh, Scotland
to immerse myself in two days of blues
with none other than the bluesmaster himself,  Michel Garcia
my banana blues in New Orleans were good
but his henna blues were better. much better.
and of course being back at Big Cat Textiles is wonderful
Nettie and Alison gave me such a warm welcome
and when i tottered down the street for supplies i bumped into several people i knew
Newburgh really is another home from home
and then there's the bonus of peonies
[these are in the garden of the lovely woman who bakes our bread]
and down the lane near the river are spectacular dark-leaved, pink flowered sambucus
now i have two days in preparation for 'being there'
and there may just be a little more indigo dyeing this weekend
because i have to maintain my blue fingernails

so i'll leave you with another bluesman
the fabulous Hugh Laurie





Saturday, 21 June 2014

peregrinations in Portugal



I've never been to this beautiful country before 
but
it's already on my returns list
and
next time 
I need to know more words than just
saudade & obrigada

there are stones to play with
i've hung my dresses in this castle
surrounded by Sally Stafford's beautiful paintings
a fierce guard dog keeps watch on the castle steps

the light is so clear you could cut and butter it
and tonight
our exhibition opens
see y'all there?





Saturday, 14 June 2014

Midsummer murmurs

i had made seven dresses
for the seven daughters-seven sisters exhibition
due to open in Portugal next weekend
but in a bit of a Sagittarian moment
i had an attack of claustrophobia
caused in part
by someone telling me they'd seen clothes
looking very much like mine
in a store in LA
that wasn't Church Boutique
i suddenly decided those seven sisters
needed to be a completely different shape
and so 'slow cloth' went out the window
and speedy sewing came in the door
assisted by Yoda-san
he found it exhausting
so did i.
but it was worth it in the end
and now they are in the cauldron
and that, my friends, is as much as you will see of them
until they have had a chance to dance at Evoramonte
because i want this exhibition to be fresh and lovely
not
a dim shadow
that has already been replicated
and offered for sale by someone else
before the sisters have had time to settle in their castle

+

now please
don't bother making comments that shout down the replicant
or are intended to bolster my ego
this is not about that

because
by happy coincidence
the Dogs Above smiled
and showed me a new way of putting together cloth
to form three dimensions from two
literally sculpting dresses from silk
although
almost impossible to draft on paper

it took me into the Gehry zone
where the model has to be made first 
in order to understand
how the engineering works
and while i don't think i can explain the process
i'm pretty sure i can do it again

Friday, 6 June 2014

dye experiments

dye experiments don't always end in spectacular results...here's an example

Squashing slices of Lactarius deliciosus between the pages of a moleskine notebook the first reveal [above] looked quite promising 
but it oxidized quite quickly
and was even less exciting after cooking
Good thing I was using pieces from one that was a bit too decrepit to enjoy 
warmed in a frying pan with sour cream, garlic and a little salt & pepper.

sometimes good food is just good food...and that's enough for me!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

so eventually i drifted into the home paddock

where i found a pile of mail
which included
a wonderful scarf from Hilde Blank in New Zealand
handwoven polwarth wool, dyed with eucalyptus
a precious bottle of my favourite scent, sadly no longer in production
when i heard it was to be axed i ordered some back up bottles and sent a note to Aesop bemoaning its loss...you could have knocked me down with a feather when i found a whole bottle had been sent me with their kind compliments
and magic dust! thank you Heidi, my sweet host at Titirangi. we had seen the empty space on the shelf marked "magic dust" when out shopping for gumbo ingredients in January and i'd expressed some curiosity as to what it might be. now i know. yum.

and although i had work to do
the forest was calling

there were mushrooms to be found
and picnics to be had



and later on
after a feast of potatoes and Lactarius deliciosus
to bed with some tasty reading
i love the way Nigel Slater writes about food.